Sunday, 1 January 2012

Suarez, Evra & Reliable Witnesses

The verdict in the Suarez case hung on the reliability of the witness testimony. In blunt summary, the FA decided that Evra was a more reliable witness and therefore found Suarez guilty. Here are the crucial parts of the testimony with some analysis...

Is the Word “Negro” Racially Offensive?

The panel of language experts used by the FA described the connotations of the word “negro” as follows:

 “It is important to grasp that the word "negro" is ambiguous in all countries and regions of Latin America. The word "negro" is by no means, however, always used offensively. The term can also be used as a friendly form of address to someone seen as somewhat brown-skinned or even just black-haired. It may be used affectionately between man and wife, or girlfriend/boyfriend, it may be used as a nickname in everyday speech, it may be used to identify in neutral and descriptive fashion someone of dark skin; several famous people in Uruguay are known as "el negro/la negra such-and-such".

The experts concluded that if the panel believed Evra’s version of events, they could assume the word "negro" was used in a racially offensive way. However, they say of Suarez’s version of events:

“The experts concluded their observations on Mr Suarez's account as follows. If Mr Suarez used the word "negro" as described by Mr Suarez, this would not be interpreted as either offensive or offensive in racial terms in Uruguay and Spanish-speaking America.”

The panel therefore needed to deem one of the accounts to be false in order to establish guilt, since Suarez’s defence was proved to be inoffensive in racial terms.

How Events Transpired

The conversation began with Evra saying "Concha de tu hermana" which translates as "your sister's pussy". Evra says he meant “fucking hell”. There is no dispute about who started the argument: it was Evra. There is no dispute about who threw the first insult: Evra. The dispute is whether Suarez’s reaction used racially offensive words. The FA ruled that it did.

So, how unreliable a witness was Suarez, and how reliable was Evra?

Immediately after Evra’s insult, the video evidence that can be lip-read shows Suarez saying "What did you say?" Suarez, before this video evidence came out, told the FA he said “What did you say?" That is a reliable statement.

They both agree that Evra then said "Why did you kick me?" What they dispute is the answer. Evra claims Suarez said "Because you are black". Suarez claims he said "it was just a normal foul" then shrugged his shoulders. The video evidence shows Suarez shrugging his shoulders, backing up his testimony. So far, the video evidence supports Suarez.

Next comes the crucial piece of Suarez evidence, the part the FA panel relied heavily on to find him guilty. Suarez said in his statement “I was trying to defuse the situation”. Under cross examination, Suarez more or less admitted that he was not trying to defuse the situation. The FA used this admission to discredit Suarez as a witness.

The really important thing he says comes just after this comment: “Under no circumstances was this action intended to be offensive and most certainly not racially offensive. It was not in any way a reference to the colour of PE's skin.” This, the FA deemed, was also untrue.

The other evidence the FA panel relied on was the fact that Suarez’s story changes slightly. However, all of the changes can be fully explained by the fact that the situation happened very quickly and the fallibility of memory means that the exact sequences of events often merge into one. The FA acknowledge this as a possibility but do not accept it as an excuse.

There are inconsistencies in Evra’s testimony. In his evidence, Evra states that he told the players after the game that Suarez said he kicked him "porque tu eres negro" (“because I am black”). None of the four Spanish speaking Manchester United players recalled Evra saying this in their witness testimonies. In the FA’s report, they confirm this is the case but state that it is possible the players simply forgot he said it. They do not point to the other possibility: that he did not say it. Under this scenario, it could be used as evidence that Evra is an unreliable witness.

There were four pieces of evidence presented by Suarez's lawyer to the FA that suggest Evra is an unreliable witness. The interesting one is the coin toss. Here is the transcript of that incident:

“Mr Marriner explained that he used a FIFA coin which is blue on one side and yellow on the other. He asked Mr Evra, as the visiting captain, to call the colour. Mr Marriner tossed the coin, it came down yellow, and he awarded it to Steven Gerrard who elected to stay in their current ends. Manchester United had kick off. Mr Evra remonstrated that he had called correctly but, Mr Marriner said, he had not. Mr Evra then spoke to Ryan Giggs about it, and Mr Marriner walked over to Mr Evra to assure him that he (Mr Marriner) had got it right. Mr Evra's evidence was that when such a coin was used, he always called yellow given that the alternative, blue, is a Manchester City colour, which he would never call. The toss came down yellow and so Mr Evra knew that he had won it. He particularly wanted to change ends at the start, he explained to the referee that he had called yellow, and why he had done so. Mr Evra was angry but the referee did not change his mind.”

Evra either could not remember what colour he chose or lied about it afterwards. This at best questions his reliability as a witness and at worst suggests he is willing to lie to gain an advantage. Crucially, he reacted outwardly far more to the coin toss than he did in the goalmouth when he claimed that Suarez used the word “negro” five times. Had that really been the case, surely Evra’s reaction would have been much stronger?

Another inconsistency is Evra's use of the term "ten times" to describe how many times Suarez allegedly said "negro". Evra has retracted this claim and said it was a "figure of speech". Really?

What about previous form? Suarez has no history of any form of racism and is an ambassador for racial equality. Evra, on the other hand, has been at the centre of a racism scandal in the recent past. It was alleged that ground staff at Chelsea racially abused Evra in 2008. The allegation was thrown out and here is how the panel described Evra's testimony:

"We find Mr Evra's description exaggerated... There was no good reason for Mr Evra to have run over and barged Mr Griffin as he did. It was unnecessarily and gratuitously aggressive of Mr Evra... Mr Evra's suggestion that he was concerned about Mr Strudwick's safety is farfetched. They were two grown men having an apparently strong verbal disagreement but no more than that. The clear implication by Mr Evra that Mr Griffin's pitchfork gave some reason for concern about Mr Strudwick's safety is ridiculous...We find Mr Evra's account exaggerated and unreliable. It is an attempt to justify a physical intervention by him which cannot reasonably be justified..."

Compare this to the conclusions drawn by the panel in the Suarez case:

"We considered it improbable that Mr Evra would act in such a dishonest way in order to damage the reputation of a fellow professional whose footballing skills he admires, with whom he had had no previous run-ins, and who he does not think is a racist."
There is therefore evidence to suggest that both Suarez and Evra made statements that were not 100% true during this case, and that Evra has a history of doing this. By using Evra’s account as “the truth”, the FA have concluded that Suarez’s entire evidence can be completely discredited whilst the inconsistencies in Evra’s testimony, and past, can be ignored.


  1. According to the document Evra says he's not fluent in Spanish but can easily converse in it. He's conversant enough to know phrases like "concha de tu mere" and conversant enough to tell the panel it does not mean it's literal translation of "your sisters cunt" but actually means "fucking hell". The document then goes on to say Evra originally understood "negro" to mean "nigger" so he then tells the FA and Ferguson, who tells the ref, that Suarez called him a nigger. Evra then later concedes that negro doesn't actually mean nigger. So we're expected to believe that Evra's Spanish is advanced enough to know slang usage and meaning of phrases like "your sisters cunt" but not advanced enough to know that negro doesn't mean nigger? Ridiculous

  2. Great analysis !

  3. The coin toss issue is interesting. Nice article

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  5. Anonymous - The Ground staff racism issue - That was a direct quote I pulled out of the report. Are you saying it is incorrect? I make no reference to who made the allegation, I was assessing Evra's reliability as a witness.
    His inconsistent testimony is very justifiable given the fallibility of memory, as I've said.
    On the four players: They all forgot to mention such a crucial fact? Really?
    Whatever the coin toss truth, he reacted more to that than to being racially abused. Do you refute this?

  6. If someone was calling me N####R over and over again I would of gone to the ref and made it clear. Ryan Giggs( the man who has been proven to be a liar in a court of law recently) said Evra told him what Suarez is alleged to of said so why as captain didn't he make a complaint when speaking to the ref? This stinks and anyone who is objective can see that

  7. As for the other players statements HEARSAY isn't admitted in a court of law. As none of them can remember what he did say it should not of been used to back his claims

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  9. Suarez didn't 'accept as truth' the Manc players testimony. He wasn't there, so quite obviously couldn't challenge what was in them. That doesn't make it fact.

    If I said that someone racially abused me last night to my mate, and he testified that I said that, does it mean that it happened? No.

    If the accused is then shown my mate's testimony, he can't possibly challenge whether what I said to my mate is correct or not because he wasn't there. That doesn't mean he accepts that he racially abused me. The legal system would collapse if that was the case.

    The facts are that the FA set up a panel to arrive at an outcome they had already decided on. They got what they wanted, but it was not the truth.

    Evra has previous for being deceitful, and his testimony of what Suarez said changed several times, and was contradicted by what his team mates said.

  10. Instead of saying I was "careful with my words" why don't you just admit I didn't mention the accuser, I referred to the transcript of the report, which is factual evidence.

  11. Joe - all club bias aside you know what you were doing as well as I do, I'd suggest you change the wording to remove all reference to racist allegations previously otherwise you only discredit yourself.

  12. -"Suarez didn't 'accept as truth' the Manc players testimony. He wasn't there, so quite obviously couldn't challenge what was in them."

    Suarez was there through out and could have called any of the united players to question their testimony, as the commission pointed out to them before they started if they didn't cross examine any of the witnesses then their testimony would be accepted as truth. So suarez accepted as truth that evra had spoken to the players after the game. That is a fact.

    -"his testimony of what Suarez said changed several times, and was contradicted by what his team mates said."

    no and no, read the report for yourself

  13. Putting club bias aside, I should do you for slander.

  14. Evra said Suarez called him N####r then changed it to blackie after looking the word up... Hardly fair is it.

  15. And what about the video evidence which clearly shows Suarez pinching Evra's arm? In the context of what Evra submitted happened; this makes sense. It makes NO SENSE in the way Suarez originally claimed; he was doing it in a friendly way!! Oh and then he changed that part of his evidence too!

    Not to mention the fact that Comolli and Dalglish all originally stated to the ref and assistant ref that Suarez said 'because you are black' which was taken down by the assistant ref. Comolli said the words had been taken down very carefully as they understood the gravity of the offence! But then they conveniently backtracked!

    So many holes in the LFC defence; can't believe you are defending the indefensible. Perhaps you should just consider for a moment why Evra might have made the complaint? Is it inconceivable it may have been true and he was offended?

  16. Anonymous
    Suarez was NOT in the man u dressing room when it is claimed Evra made the comment about Suarez so it would be impossible to cross examin on hear say. Also a court of law would not of allowed their evidence to be heard and I'm surprised Suarez solicitor did. But then again it was a 3 man panel NOT a court of law.

  17. -"Putting club bias aside, I should do you for slander."

    lol - can't argue my points so resort to ridiculous threats. I thought you might be interested in facts and honest debate but obviously not. I should have realised as much, you're not a mod on RAWK by any chance are you?

  18. great article Joe. Enjoyed reading it.

  19. all bloggers should go out a bit more.

  20. I have already answered your concerns, Mr Anonymous. You're not Fergie in disguise are you????

  21. Great Article! Get the FA to read it.

  22. Joe - you've ignored 95% of my post made at 15.05, and thanks for the compliment, but unfortunately I'm not that clever.

  23. Quality article. The whole case is made of "probables", for the FA to side completely with Evra, with hardly any evidence along with his team mate David De Gea meters away not hearing anything has to say something.
    Why would the FA not look into and sanction Evra for the abusive language he gave Suarez and admitted to? Important to note out that Evra also claimed that "Luis Suarez is not a racist".
    Which person is more inconsistent?

  24. Great Blog.......Evra was supposed to be fuming after the so called "racist" comment yet still managed to play for another 1/2 hour before he had to tell someone.We know he is a narky lying twat who has tried to get other people done before by playing the race card. Typical MANC SCUM ..5 TIMES BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Excellent analysis, let's hope the liverpool lawyers read this.

  26. I implore people to watch the video whilst reading the transcripts of what both players claim was said, the body language of both Suarez and Evra matches the testimony of Suarez perfectly, the shrugged shoulders, the holding out of his arms and the pinch on the arm I really cannot understand for the life of me how anyone can believe Evra over Suarez especially with his past indiscretions

  27. The FA have also basically accused Kuyt of being a liar. Kuyt said that Evra said to the referee "you are only booking me because I am black". The FA chose to ignore Kuyt. In otherwords, they decided he was lying. Is Dirk Kuyt a liar? I doubt it.

  28. The report concluded that Evra was wrong in his accusation that Suarez called him a nigger and that he used the term he was wrong about five times (later to inconsistently increase to ten). Evra is shown in the report to be wrong about the coin toss. In 2008 Evras testimony in a race case was concluded to be "exaggerated". Searching YouTube for "Evras high pitched voice" discredits his stance on why he did not use the word nigger to the ref during the game. Evra missed out sequences of events (as did Suarez) ie that Suarez "pinched" his arm. And yet we are told that Evra is to be taken as a reliable and credible witness in a case of one persons word against another.

  29. Superb analysis mate really enjoyed the read but somehow i feel thst nothing said or done will change suarezs fate. All we can do is keep supporting the most successful english side ever and get behind the players on and off the pitch. Unfortunately we all know that that whisky nosed cunt cheats to get what he wants and the f.a bow down to his demands so this decision should have not come at a shock to anyone. Man utd you will always be in our shadow you fucking shithouse cheating bunch of wankers. YNWA

  30. great analysis Joe, however I believe the pinch point is the fact that the handwritten notes were discarded. had they been kept there would be no dispute about whether or not Mr Comolli spelled out the word or how it was translated.

    I find I a very damning report considering there are no hard facts, video evidence is based on probables of what might or might not fit, and it looks remakably like Suarez has been discredited for not being able to recall every second of the short episode in finer detail or moreover could not speak English well enough to state it succinctly and relied on his translators to interpret his accout.....


  31. One of the most stupid articles I have read. A very poor reflection on the intelligence of this author.

  32. The most ridiculous/contradictory thing Evra said was that he does not consider Suarez a racist. So, in his view, Suarez said he kicked him cos he was black, sand he does not speak to blacks, followed by blackie, blackie, blackie, but he's not racist. Fucking ridiculous. The conclusion was that Suarez said Negro seven times (accepting Evra's version of events) but the FA also said Suarez is not racist. How can they conclude that Evra's version of events is correct, but also that Suarez is not racist? Jokers.

  33. You're right, John. Suarez is clearly racist.

  34. Facts that Man U fans can't argue against:

    The majority of Liverpool fans, regarding black or white, support and believe Suarez not guilty. The MU on another hand just want he is torched on a stake, despite Erva admit Suarez is not a racist. The dispute therefore clearly does not lie on racial right or wrong, but on clubs' benefits.

  35. I honestly don't believe that a person could call some one a N####R several times and the person being racially abused didn't complain to the ref when called over a few mins later. Why didn't Evra complain to the ref.why wasn't he asked why he didn't complain to the ref

  36. Elli - Evra did complain to the ref:

    "106. We found Mr Marriner's account to be plausible and credible. He did take control in that
    the players listened to what he had to say and did not say anything back to him. The fact
    that Mr Marriner did not hear what Mr Evra said is not inconsistent with Mr Evra's
    evidence that, as he walked towards the referee, he said "ref, ref, he just called me a
    fucking black"."


    "112. The evidence of Mr Marriner about this incident was as follows. In the 65th minute of the
    game, he had to issue a caution to Mr Evra after he saw him push Mr Kuyt in the chest
    following a coming together. Mr Evra was clearly upset and mentioned that he was being
    called "black". Mr Marriner did not hear whether Mr Evra said who was calling him
    "black" and he did not understand what Mr Evra was referring to at the time. Mr Evra
    made no other comment to the referee."

  37. Marriner didn't hear it, or it didn't happen?

  38. A shame that a proud club like LFC can condone racism...

  39. Joe -

    "105. Mr Marriner, the referee, was shown the footage of this incident at the hearing. He had not
    seen the footage before. He agreed that Mr Evra appeared to be saying something to the
    referee as he walks in the referee's direction. Mr Marriner said that he could not recall
    what was being said to him."

  40. Anonymous - No one is condoning racism and this is a very poor comment. Some of you other comments were valid so you have let yourself down with this one. Also, if you think this is a cut and dry case YOU are obviously displaying your bias. The panel basically do not believe that Suarez was not intending to racially abuse Evra. There is a lot of doubt with this analysis and i think Suarez could well be telling the truth.
    To bring up one point, why did he only use the term 'negro'? Surely he could have combined that word with some other offensive words if he was angry and trying to racially abuse Evra. For example, in the way John Terry appears to have done on camera.
    There are lots of reasons why we are supporting Suarez. He will now be labelled a racist yet there is serious doubt in this case. It's not about the ban for me, it's a young footballers reputation.

    Liverpool's response will be very telling but they are in a very tricky situation. They may believe their player is innocent but if they back him they are accused(by people like you) of condoning racism.

    This is ridiculous and the press should allow due process to take place. How would you feel if you believed you were innocent and your club decided they think you were being racist? The club have been backing Suarez as they believe him after all the evidence presented to them. This could change following this publicaton.

    However if the club choose to appeal, they should be allowed to do so without silly accusations like this.

  41. John - there's more than 1 person posting anonymously.

    The way Liverpool have gone about this shows them in a bad light. If suarez had come out and said "the word(s) I used are acceptable in my country and I wasn't aware they were offensive here, I apologise to Mr Evra for any offense caused and hope he understands I didn't mean to offend him" then not only would he have looked much better in the eyes of everyone but evra would have looked extremely petty by persuing the case. As it is Suarez looks like a fool trying to lie his way out of a tricky spot, he's brought it on himself and comolli, kuyt and dalglish haven't helped him.

  42. Anonymous - Apologies if you did not accuse LFC of condoning racism.

    On your second point, is that not what LFC and Suarez have done? It's just that the panel didn't believe it. It's possible the club could have told Suarez to deny he said 'negro' at all. Then it would have basically been one man's word against another's.
    For me, this paints the club in a good light. Why does no-one understand that the club believed he was not guilty. This is a serious accusation that has lots of implications for the player and club. They would not have taken such a stance if they thought he was guilty.

  43. "The panel therefore needed to deem one of the accounts to be false in order to establish guilt"

    Ignorant people with no concept of the law making silly observations. The panel needed only to decide which version of events was more likely, hence "the balance of probabilities."

    They make no judgment on which version of events is true or false simply which verision is more likely to have happened. Even if that is 51% to 49% in Evra's favour the test satisfied.

  44. The truth is that Evra lied by telling the panel that Kuyt told him 'To fucking get up you prick' after Suarez fouled him. Video evidence has shown that Kuyt did not speak to Evra whilst he was on the ground, Lie number 1! Evra says Suarez used the word Nigger 10 times and that the referee heard it and the cameras picked it up. The referee has stated that he did not hear it and did not hear Evra make a complaint, no video evidence has been seen or found to support Evra's claim. Evra then changed his story after learning that there is no Spanish word for nigger, Lie number 2. Evra calls Suarez's sister a cunt, then changes his mind and says that he said 'Fucking Hell', Lie number 3. Evra has been been labelled a liar in the past and has previous in exaggerating when giving evidence, this was backed up by the FA only 3 years ago. I hope Liverpool and Suarez take Evra, the FA and Utd to the cleaners. YNWA.

  45. John - they haven't done it in public and have called evra a liar in private and said he'd done it before (when he hasn't) in that very poorly judged clubs statement when the ban was announced.

    What I meant was to call a press conference very quickly after the event and do it very publicly, possibly with a donation from both the club and the player to an anti racism charity. If that had happened then it would have played out very differently, evra would be seen as petty for persuing it.

    I personally believe evra's version of events, especially after reading that report, however I don't believe suarez is racist, I think he was trying to wind evra up to get a reaction from him so he'd get sent off. That doesn't make him a racist but his actions since then make him out to be of very poor character.

  46. So all the Man Utd witnesses did was confirm that Evra told them that Suarez had used a racist term. But none of them actually heard said racist term? Or am I getting that wrong?

  47. Bobbygaff -

    Lie number 1

    "83. Mr Evra said that while he was lying on the ground, Mr Kuyt came up to him and said
    "stand up, you fucking prick". Mr Kuyt said "This is untrue. What I did say was something
    to the effect of "Stand up, stand up", as if to say that it had been a foul but he was making
    too much of it". The video footage did not show Mr Kuyt speaking to Mr Evra at this time,
    but Mr Kuyt admitted that he did so. The dispute is about what Mr Kuyt said, not about
    whether he said anything to Mr Evra at that time. Very little attention was paid to this
    dispute during the hearing, and we did not find it necessary in reaching our decision to
    make a finding about what Mr Kuyt had said to Mr Evra."

    Lie number 2

    evra admitted prior to the hearing that at the time his understanding of the word negro was influenced by his knowledge of italian, at the time he thought it meant "nigger" and not "black", hence the confusion when translating it into english. His conversions with the spanish and portugeuse speakers in the united team after the match show what the thought had been said. The "10 times" claim was made on french TV straight after the match and was obviously an exaggeration when he was angry, appparently a common thing in the french language (which comolli admitted in his cross examination).

    Lie number 3 -
    Evra's admitted phrase of "your sisters pussy/cunt" was translated by the linguistic specialists not evra, who stated that the spanish used was not as offensive as "cunt" is in english and phrase could be equated to the english "fucking hell" or "fuck me" and if directed at someone in particular it could be taken to mean "you son of a bitch"

  48. 1)The reason they say he is not racist is that he said that in heat of the match to aggravate evra and would not use the same words in his normal life.
    2)The only reason the video and shrug matches suarez account is because he changed it after seeing the video and before that his timing of the comments were not on sync.
    3)The coin toss issue is because evra wanted the other side and also because Liverpool-United match is always a great rivalry match and they were pumped up at the start.

  49. The "10 times" claim was made on french TV straight after the match and was obviously an exaggeration when he was angry, appparently a common thing in the french language (which comolli admitted in his cross examination).

    Erm, I read that Commoli said that's NOT the sort of thing a French speaking person would say, and that anyone saying such a thing would have to be very precise when making such a claim. Am I wrong again?

  50. 4) the reliability of evra is not good regarding that case and the reliability of suarez is not good regarding this case , there's no connection.

  51. Adam S - yes you are I'm afraid

    "280. Mr Evra said that the phrase "ten times" was just a figure of speech in France. We
    understood Mr Comolli to say broadly the same thing, though he thought that Mr Evra
    should have been more precise when giving evidence on such a serious matter on

  52. While I appreciate your blog is a LFC related blog, trying to equate an incident from 2008 to the events of 2011 is a stretch too far.

    By trying to disseminate Evra's account and make it read more unreliable than Suarez's is frankly silly. Luiz Suarez failed in two major defences, first has admitted, and denied using the negro, when he does admit it he trys to pass it off as cultral mistranslation. Secondly he claims the pinch was to defuse the situation, only when pressed under examination he admits it wasn't.

    Readinf the report it look like Suarez knew exactly what he was doing, he knew Evra is volatile and won't take to insults, he tried it on and appears on testimony of a number of people, been caught for it.

  53. Anonymous
    Why didn't Evra repeat his claims of racial abuse to the ref..if as he claimed he walked towards the ref saying Suarez had used racist comments to him.. If he was so upset as he claims surely he would of made sure the ref knew of the abuse and also why didn't his captain Giggs not make sure the ref knew after he claims Evra told him Suarez has abused him.surely that is the captains job

  54. Expert evidence:

    "In Uruguay and other areas of Latin America, some people who self-identify as blackobject to the use of the word "negro" as a term of address, as they say it highlights skincolour when this should be irrelevant; they point out that the term "blanco" [white] is rarely used in this fashion."

  55. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  56. Shurrup yer twat

  57. Are you like that blooger on Scouse wives who takes cock up his bum?

  58. You scouser are always looking for someone else to blame for your own mistake.... Evra, The Americans, The police, the Sun the stewards.

    Suarez admitted to saying it, He's excuse is that its not offensive in South America. Guess what twat, you're not in South America.

    Shut up, take your punishment like a man, and maybe next time he'll think before he speaks

  59. I am pleased that the future for black players in the premier league is now protected and those who call them names will be severely punished.

    Ironic that in the shadows of Old Trafford a young Indian student was killed on 26th December by a white racist for fun.

    Now tell me that Suarez is a racist.

  60. Marcus Antonious2 January 2012 at 10:21

    I like this article. I read the report yesterday, and have also been interested to read a rather unbalanced reporting of the content of "the report".

    I was interested to read the inconsitencies in Evra's account of what was said - on the pitch Evra complained to the referee that Suarez said "ref, ref, he just called me a fxxxxxg black". After the match, Ferguson and Evra went to the ref and Ferguson said to the ref "I want to make a complaint because Suarez has called him (meaning Evra) a nigger five times". Evra in his supplemental statement regarding his Canal + interview said that "a word had been said to him ten times."

    The burden of proof in this case is on the FA, and that proof must be established on the balance of probability. Suarez admitted to using the word once. The report concurs that the word that was used in the context it was used translates to "black" rather than "nigger".

    The report concluded that Suarez's evidence was unreliable, and that Evra was a credible witness. The report finds Suarez guilty of using the word 7 times.

    I draw 3 conclusions: Suarez used inappropriate language, Evra's story is inconsistent and the FA in an attempt to achieve transparency in decision making have shown their judgemet and reasoning to be flawed. The levy of an 8-match ban is based on Suarez's repeated use of the word. There is no evidence that Suarez repeatedly used the word.

  61. I find it incredible that most Liverpool fans refuse to even consider the idea that Suarez may have been in the wrong. Their hate for Manure completely eclipses all common sense and decency. And I say this as a Liverpool fan by the way. I think Suarez has brough shame and embarassment to the club quite frankly. Call me what you like, but I refuse to blindly defend his behaviour, just because I support Liverpool.

  62. I don't get it,evra said he thought the word Negro translated as nigger ubtil after the game in the dressing room he asked Spanish speaking players what it,why did evra run up to the ref during the game and say 'he has just called me black'?

  63. We are not doing ourselves any favours here. The club has handled it badly from the start (as today's Telegraph report makes very clear, it could probably have been sorted out discreetly at the the time). Looks to me like Suarez has lied to the club and that Kenny has then backed him. This has probably dawned on KD already, and it doesn't augur well for future working relations. Kuyt and Comolli changing their testimony also looks bad. We need to draw a line and move on, and I'm pretty sure that will be John Henry's view.

  64. Look up evra in hotel room when he played for marseille.

  65. @Joe: Suarez is a guy kicking a ball around and he is entitled not to be the brightest and the most honest man in the world. What is worrying here is incompetence shown by LFC in dealing with serious allegations in an appropriate manner (see Chelsea for how it should be done). I cannot believe that people responsible for LFC PR and low issues are still not sacked. Not to mention “The King Kenny” who revealed himself as a joke.

  66. I have significant concern with the position the club are now left in with regards to the findings as published by the regulatory commission as it leaves the club in a no win situation. If the club wish to put this to bed and move on (as the external pressure grows) it accepts the facts as reported in the report then I feel we are accepting a position of fact that the club and many of the supporters are not comfortable with, ie fully accepting that Patrice Evras account of the incident is the fact. Oddly, and a point not raised to date is that the FA's approach and laws to dealing with 'racial abuse' is fundamentally flawed and not clearly dealt with within their laws. Racial abuse quite rightly breaks criminal law and on that basis any accusation of racial abuse should be referred in the first instance to the police (as in the case of John Terry). The FA issue guidance on which laws of the land apply to ‘Assaults on Officials’ (page 409 Disciplinary Procedures refers to ‘Racially aggravated Assaults contrary to Section 29 Crime and Disorder Act 1998’) but does not do the same with regards to actions between players on the field of play. With regards to law E3 the FA state that reference to race under law E3(2) a ‘person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability’ are ‘an “aggravating factor”’ of law E3 (1). Unlike rule E4 which is clear in its reference to ‘discrimination’ (A Participant shall not carry out any act of discrimination by reason of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability.). The issue with rule E3 and the FA’s stance and laws is that it does not clearly reference and call out racial abuse and give it the level of importance that is necessary given the severity of the criminal law of racial abuse (as it does with rule E4). The FA simply includes race as an aggravating factor and suggests that abuse is half the crime of racial abuse given the guidance on punishment (as detailed by the FA). This hardly smacks of an organisation attempting to clearly deal with and punish racial abuse. This leaves those guilty of breaking the FA laws either in its worse case (rightly) or in its least extreme as implied as being guilty of the criminal law of ‘racial abuse’. John Terry will have the full benefit of being able to argue his point in a court of law to the point of racial abuse and it being fully evidenced and proven. Suarez never had that opportunity due to the flaws in the FA’s laws and the approach in proving whether a rule was broken.

  67. United Fan here ... most Liverpool fans will want to move on from this as Dalglish should have done without blowing it up into a Liverpool/Man Utd confrontation. Dalglish is a decent man but can make mistakes (there, I said it!). However I do enjoy the name-calling and delusional comments from that minority of Liverpool fans that think the club has some kind of papal infallibility - have they not been paying attention over the last 20 years of Liverpool's history?

  68. Is Suarez already walking alone? I notice on that he seems to be the only player without any "news" to be viewed under his player profile ... perhaps the powers at Anfield (i.e. not KD) have decided enough's enough and time to move on.

  69. God, you people are unbelievable!!! Suarez is a racist tw@t yet you lot are too thick to acknowledge it. You are doing neither the city of Liverpool nor the club any favours. Funny how we never heard Suarez apologise for his language. Just because calling a black person 'negro' in Latin America is supposedly OK, doesn't make it acceptable practice in this country. You think you can get your thick numbskulls around that?

  70. Dear Sirs,
    I write these notes after having fully read the report by Paul Goulding QC, Chairman, Denis Smith and Brian Jones dated December 30, 2011 and entitled "The Football Association and Luis Suarez: The Regulatory Commission of Reasons"

    First I would like to make clear that I am not a lawyer but still I found unacceptable errors that could be used to disqualify and dismiss as ill-founded the entire report. I now turn to clarify some of them:

    Almost the entire document is based in interpretations of Spanish language as both Suarez and Evra discussed in this language.

    1) Nowhere in the report refers to the "Royal Spanish Academy." This organism is considered the highest authority in the knowledge of Spanish language in Spain as in any other country with the same language. Not to mention the Royal Academy in a conflict where you have to interpret Spanish Language is the same as in the United States the FDA is not mentioned in a complex conflict in the pharmaceutical industry or the European Central Bank is not mentioned in a complicated financial issue in Europe. Any report in this condition hasn’t the slightest basis for argumentation (football Spanish language conflict between two players) If the commission had consulted the Royal Academy they would realize that the word “negro” in its meaning No. 3 says "Dicho de una persona cuya piel es de color negro” (Saying about a person whose skin is black). It doesn´t mention anything about abusing or even insulting a person. On the other hand the Royal Academy referring to the word “Sudaca” used by Evra is rated as derogatory "in all occasions and meanings".
    In any trial in Spanish speaking country the most decisive argument for linguistic interpretation is the Royal Academy. I do not understand the lack of knowledge of an English commission to the extent that there is no reference to the Royal Spanish Academy at all.
    2) Evra used the term "la concha de tu hermana”. This saying is not common in any country except than in Argentina and Uruguay. How did Evra know this term to use it as an insult? Did he enter the field prepared to insult Suarez knowing he is Uruguayan and that this insult is only understood in those two countries? If he had uttered this insult to an Ecuatorian, Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian, any Latin American country citizen or even in Spain, the receptor of the insult won´t understands anything said. How the language experts could not realize this. The only explanation is lack of knowledge.
    3) When the commission argue about "tu eres" or "vos sos" also they make a serious mistake that disqualifies all their argumentation with reference to the subject. Suarez is from Salto (where “vos” is used) and not from Montevideo (where where “tu” is used). Again it appears lack of knowledge so it should be considered dismissible.
    4) Probability is a science and not a situation of apparently subjective and unfounded impressions. The commission can not conclude information and does not anything based on probabilities without a solid argument based on probabilistic principles. Probability is measurable and in trials lawyers use probabilistic measures (mean, standard deviation, t-test, p-value, etc). Nothing of this appears in the report.

    In summary the report of the FA is unfounded, omitted relevant answer to questions like those raised above invalidating the basis on which the whole case is founded.


  71. Sorry JA, this was an independent Commission, not a Court of Law so the standard of proof is not as high. Its findings are on the "balance of probabilities". From reading the report, watching the video and the various inconsistencies in Suarez' own account of what happened it's quite obvious that he used words that he knew that Evra would deem to be racist. (No one believes Suarez is actually racist, just that he was using racist terms to wind up Evra). This case is over, Liverpool will accept the ban and people will move on the next storm in a tea cup.

  72. Looks like The Devil & some anonymous little devils are trying to create confusion among the good commenters here.

  73. @JA:
    1)In all Europe, irrespective of language used (be it Roman, Slavonic or Germanic group), "negro" and "negro"-derived word is a racist insult. If you say that Suarez said "negro" to complement Evra in this situation, think again. There is no evidence that Evra used word "Sudaca" (in fact that was rejected to be the case).
    2) "la concha de tu hermana” could be insult picked up from Argentinian and Uruguayan Players playing in Europe.
    3) Suarez is entitled to speak Spanish as he likes.
    4) Evra's account of events sound like the real one, while what Suarez said does not; it actually sounds like a written material from a comedian.

  74. This saga should make all football fans uneasy about the calibre of people in the FA. Everything they do they fuck up, and in this affair they have entered the hearing with a result in mind and sifted the evidence to suit. Suarez should take leaqgal action himself, because his reputation has been damaged despitr the good work he has done to end racism in the game. The root cause of this was his humilition of Evra by nutmegging him twice within minutes.

  75. In response to...Anonymous said 'God, you people are unbelievable!!! Suarez is a racist tw@t yet you lot are too thick to acknowledge it. You are doing neither the city of Liverpool nor the club any favours. Funny how we never heard Suarez apologise for his language. Just because calling a black person 'negro' in Latin America is supposedly OK, doesn't make it acceptable practice in this country. You think you can get your thick numbskulls around that?'

    And neither is it acceptable to call someone '"la concha de tu hermana' either in Spain, South America or in England, it is highly offensive when directed to an individual (why would a Frenchman in England utter this in Spanish if he was referring to 'fucking hell'?). I think people miss the issue, we understand through is own admission that Suarez used the word 'negro' in his altercation with Evra, that is not the point of my argument. The point is the context and number of times that the report gives as fact and will be accepted by the club if they decide to move on (it would now be a little too tiresome for the press for this to go any longer, not quite living up to the speed they need to turn news over?!).
    Whether a Liverpool supporter or not I cannot quite believe that Evra can report immediately after the match that he was racially abused with the offensive use of the word 'nigger' having been able to use subtle and abusive Spanish terms in a Spanish speaking discussion which he instigated. To then muddy the evidence to suggest he was confused with the Italian word for 'nigger' given his understanding and abiltiy to remember and deliver detailed Spanish discussion (as evidenced by the commission) is a little too far fetched. It is exactly that type of contradiction of evidence that Suarez is guilty of and ultimately influences the decision to accept Evras account as the most likely.
    I think if the commission had found Suarez guilty by his own admission and given a comment of not proven regarding the Evra comments I and many others would be more comfortable with 'moving on'. Additionally, Evra should be brought to charge re rule E3 by his own admission using the language he did.

  76. @Anonymus 3 January 2012 09:16: I disagree with you. In this instance, FA should be applauded for the way how they handle the case. I also applaud Evra for breaking the omerta "what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch". I did not expect that these guys are Harvard Scholars, but this is really low. What to say about "The King Kenny"? What to say about us, supporters/fans? How clever we are when we make all these people so incredible rich.

  77. In response to Anonymous said...
    1)In all Europe, irrespective of language used (be it Roman, Slavonic or Germanic group), "negro" and "negro"-derived word is a racist insult. If you say that Suarez said "negro" to complement Evra in this situation, think again. There is no evidence that Evra used word "Sudaca" (in fact that was rejected to be the case).

    The commission does appear to make a mistake over the use of the word "Sudaca" because Suarez actually reports that Evra said 'South American' in English but then used the term 'sudaamericano' in interview with the FA (seen as contradctory evidence), see point 315..

    Mr Suarez also changed some of the detail of his account of the incident when he used the
    word “negro”. He now said that it was simultaneously with the blowing of the whistle
    that Mr Evra spoke to him and said "Don't touch me, South American" (in English). Mr
    Suarez took this to be a reference to his touching of Mr Evra's arm on the goal line a few
    moments earlier.

    It is the language experts alone that introduce the term 'sudaca' as a term used in Spain, neither Suarez nor Liverpool gave reference to it. Whilst 'sudaca' is more offensive anyone knowning Spanish people would know that they consider South American immigrants to be of 'lower class' and would reference them as 'South Americans' in their discussions as means of being derogatory. I am only confident of this as I have a South American wife (Venezualan) who has experience of this first hand living in England (whilst mixing with Spanish) and of her own friends and family experiencing it in Spain. I fear that the language experts were wrong on this and on a number of occassions and it would have been more appropriate to have had an expert from South America contributing to the panel. My own wifes view is that the use of the term 'negro' in the context in the way that Evra reported this (ie not in a conciliatory way) would have come across as more of a 'what mate, mate, mate' especially given the inflammatory remark given by Evra to start the discussion ie that he was willing to commence and progress a discussion in Spanish and accept its meanings in that way i.e as a South American to South Amercian. Her view was that this discussion would not have raised an eyebrow on or off a pitch in South America for that reason alone (the use of the term 'negro' can however be used offensively if with a stranger or with further inflammatory comments added). It appears a little contradictory to exclaim that a translation of a term is of a racist context when translated to English (because the discussion was in Englan) when the facts are that Evra starts a discussion with a South Amercian in Spanish. In some respect he has to accept the context of that discussion as a South American context (otherwise he should have kept to English or French)

  78. There is no doubt that someone lied.
    It does not take a genius to identify who.
    I have never seen so many legal experts in my life as there are on this page.
    I suggest that LFC go ahead and take it further, they said thay would.
    It would clear up the matter once and for all.
    Go for it and watch the world laugh even more!!!

  79. @ Anonymous 2 January 2012 21:23 - "Just because calling a black person 'negro' in Latin America is supposedly OK, doesn't make it acceptable practice in this country."

    You have missed the point completely. Whether or not a word is acceptable in one country or another is irrelevant. It is the meaning of the word which is important, in particular what the word means in the language it is being spoken in.

    Suarez was talking in his native language whilst Evra wasn't, it is not a suprise that there could be a misunderstanding.

    I read the entire report which I found to be contradictory in places. The commission said that it was understandable that players could not recall perfectly what happened as they had just completed in a high pressure game for 90 minutes. However, they accept everything that the referee said as gospel. Double standards & there are other examples.

    I am not a Liverpool fan, I prefer to watch real football in the lower leagues.

  80. @Garyb77: I agree with you that even if Evra said "South American" to Suarez in English, it would be a racist remark as it carries insulting intentions. I did not understand that Evra accepted that he said that.

  81. This is all getting a bit out of hand to me. I like many of you have read the report in full and concluded the following -

    1. Both Evra and Suarez (along with many others) are guilty of inconsistencies within their statements
    2. They both said offensive things to each other and which based on the FA's laws should be punished. I think they should both be fined £100k (payable to charities) and banned for 3 games. The FA's eight game ban has elevated this matter beyond all levels of reasonableness for one reason - to score points over FIFA. The outcome of the John Terry case (the FA's response, not the Police's) will establish if the FA itself is racist
    3. The FA's panel of 'experts' are not of Spanish origin and I find it staggering that the FA haven't engaged a Spanish language authority to resolve the matter given that the case relates to the semantic use of 2 or 3 terms
    4. The basis of reliability in the findings on many dimensions would are questionable (my friend is a partner in a law firm) and said the report was poorly structured and shallow in its analysis - in relation to its outcome

    This is all getting out of hand. Big storm in a tea-cup so that ego's within the FA can continue their petty handbags with FIFA

  82. I have lived in Spain for 40 years and have worked in a Spanish speaking environment during the whole period. Personal experience leads me to disagree entirely with the so-called “linguistic experts” (both in fact social anthropologists) about the use of “concha de tu hermana”, this is a serious insult and does not mean “fucking hell” ( this translates in Spanish to “joder tio” or in some areas “coño”). Evra as a Spanish speaker would know this perfectly well and is only trying to avoid being accused of making a politically incorrect sexist insult.
    The use of the word Negro to describe people of an African origin is widespread in South America even appearing on census forms and in official and international documents such as CEPAL (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe)documents
    In the History of Football in Uruguay (Uruguay Historia – Club de Futbol Uruguay) I find the following statement:
    Todos jugaban al fútbol, sin ningún tipo de exclusión, ya sea por posición social, nacionalidad, raza o credos religiosos. En un mismo cuadro podían estar “el indio”, “el negro”, “el japonés”, “el gringo”, “el turco”, “el ruso”, “el yoni”, “el tano”, “el chino”, “el vasco” o “el gallego”.
    My translation of Uruguay Historia – Club de Futbol Uruguay
    “ Everybody played football, without any type of exclusion, whether it be by social position,nationality, race or religious creed. In the same team there could be “el indio (the indian), “el negro” (the black), “el japonés” (the japanese), “el gringo” (the north american), “el turco”( the turk), “el ruso” (the russian), “el yoni” (the johnny ie. Englishman), “el tano” (the napolitan- ie. Italian), “el chino” (the chinese), “el vasco”(the basque) or “el gallego” (the galician).
    The use of such nicknames is common in Spanish speaking environments especially as a substitute for long Spanish names. A close friend of mine who was a senior vice-president of the Spanish Central bank (Don Jesus Gomez Rodriguez) was known for his swarthy skin colour and was known locally as “Suso el negro”. On occasions I have heard him use this nickname to introduce himself .
    I mention all this as, despite the tribunal conclusions, it demonstrates that there are considerable grounds for doubt over the use by Suarez of the word negro as a racial slur and also that Evra’s evidence, once again, is not as reliable as the tribunal were led to believe by Manchester University’s “linguistic experts”

  83. In response to Anonymous: @Garyb77: I agree with you that even if Evra said "South American" to Suarez in English, it would be a racist remark as it carries insulting intentions. I did not understand that Evra accepted that he said that.

    You are right Evra did not accept that he said it but my concern lies with the experts undermining Suarez view that this would be offensive and therefore the probability that he said it(in the context of the discussion). The commission then allows Evra the chance to agree by aligning his argument with the incorrect view of the language experts...

    The Spanish language experts said that they were not familiar with either "sudamericano"
    or "South American" being used as an insult, although if used with a sneer it might well be
    understood as such. A more derogatory insult along these lines would be the term
    "sudaca", a term most frequently used in Spain to label South American immigrants.
    363. Mr Evra denied using the words "South American" when speaking to Mr Suarez. When it
    was put to him that he had done so, he seemed genuinely bemused. He said to address
    someone as "South American" in this way is not something he would do. He said "What's the sense? What's the point?". There was no evidence of Mr Evra using this phrase on any
    other occasions.
    There is no timeline given to points 362 and 363 but one would assume that given the order reported 363 occurred after 362 or the commission were attempting to report it in this way to undermine the Suarez comments. Both appear to be odd (as do many things in the report).

  84. In response to Anonymous said...
    I have never seen so many legal experts in my life as there are on this page.

    Too much educated opinion on here for you? Head speedily back to the United forums then and save your breath. As pointed out previously this is a complex issue and deserves debate. To simply brush it aside is not correct given the likely impact on football, now in the future and on future handling of issues regarding racial abuse and discrimination.

  85. Why Suarez calls Glen Johnson a "Negro" and not Glen?

  86. Steve h. This is a complex matter. It is clearly doubtful that the panel and experts had sufficient information and knowledge respectively to come to a finding that upheld the major principle of fairness in English law. I know a bit about evidence and procedure, but the rules in a case like this I'm not sure of. In a criminal case I dont believe that an appeal based on a fresh view of the outcomes, particularly expert opinion on tme language used which could have been available inthe original case would be allowed. Maybe lfc legal team missed their chance? The report does however have many inconsistencies and invites challengeh

  87. Anonymous said...
    Why Suarez calls Glen Johnson a "Negro" and not Glen?

    He doesnt call him 'a "Negro"' he will refer to him as "Negro" the subtle difference of the 'a' is important as English speakers will no doubt pronounce and read "Negro" as English (ie the term likely related to racial abuse) rather than that pronounced and understood in Spanish. Why doesnt Glen call Saurez that, well he may, that is not determined in this case. However, one is South American using a South American term in a friendly way to a friend (ie Saurez to Johnson). Glen is not South Amercian so doesnt use that term (but he may do?). Hardly the most challenging aspect of the case but to make the point see Hernandez comments in the document...

    A Mexican footballer, Omar Esparza, is widely known in Mexico as "el Negrito". Hernandez, the Manchester United player, has been a close friend
    of Omar Esparza for many years and refers to him as "el Negrito" in an affectionate way.
    Hernandez admitted that terms such as "Negrito" can be used with close friends and in
    certain situations without it being offensive.

    I'm purposefully giving you a detailed response because it is evident you are suggesting some other connotation to your question.

  88. @Garyb77: People accept different things for different reasons. If one carries a nickname that is not flattering (Fatso, Shorty, Stupid, etc.), it does not necessarily mean that he likes it. It seems that Suarez is (was) on the top of the packing order in LFC.

  89. You can curse Whites and Asian, and tease them with names. But anytime anything related to Blacks or Arab ( Muslim ), they will make a huge scene out of it. I seriously thinks that Whites and East Asian needs to defend themself more from all these nonsence, rather than being apologetic to everything thrown to them.

  90. It all starts with "La concha de tu hermana" (your sisters pussy) admitted by Evra. This is mainly an insult used in Argentina and Uruguay. It could be used in other cuntries but there is an important difference: the world "concha" is synonimus of "pussy" in these two cuntries. In ALL other snanish speaking language the world is used for "shell" so the insult is absolutely different. As another example, the wold "cojer" is "fuck" in Argentina and Uruguay while it means "holding" in any other country. That´s so embedded in coloquial speaking that in Argentina they use the word "agarrar" to mean "hold".
    So Evra knows the difference of impact of using this insult to Suarez as compared to any other spanish speaking player.
    Using this insult changes all what will happen afterwards. Evra was inducing to change the cultular rules of the discussion to Suarez culture. It is what experts (of course the was nobody knowing this in the expert commission team)"Change of Sociological Context".
    So the argument that this happened in England still stands but as the commisson did, the must be forced, and is ok, to enter deeply in cultural topics. But they do it poorly and with incredible flaws. The most significant is the discussion of "tu eres negro" or "vos sos negro". They mention Montevideo way of speaking, ommitting that Suarez is no from Montevideo, but from Salto where this terms are interchanged.
    On the other hand nobody takes into account the social and cultural background of Suarez. He could never said "porque tu eres negro". It´s like an uncultured English speaking fellow said "Mr. Evra, you seldom dive, but I whatsoever".
    Summarising, it was a good decision made by the commission to discuss in terms of culture. The mistake lays in that the Speaking Languaje Experts were not at level.
    The only expert in Spanish language andeven local slang languaje use is Mr. Evra.
    I know, from my oun experience (I lived 4 years in Spain, 1 in France and 2 in Thailand) that undestanding a different culture is difficult, takes time and sometimes requires help. But deciding to put a man in the guilliotine of the press and the public opinion requires to be much more professional. This smells like the inquisition not a process in England in the XXI century.

  91. A Football Association report into the incident, published this week, revealed a statement of defence from Suarez which must have been tricky for him to write while holding a shovel.

    "I would refer to Glen Johnson as 'negro',” he dug, “in the same way that I might refer to Dirk Kuyt as 'Blondie' because he has blond hair, or Andy Carroll as 'Grandote', 'Big Man', because he is very tall.

    "Where I come from, it is normal to refer to people in this way by reference to what they look like.”

    As it happens, this argument is not particularly Uruguayan. The pubs and chat-rooms of Britain are packed with native bores who insist that racial epiphets are the same as those which refer to hair colour or physical size – an argument I shall readily accept when presented with proof that people with a certain hair colour or physical build were systematically subjected to several centuries of enslavement and subsequent discrimination. However, I have been to the Slavery Museum, and struggled to see many lanky gingers in shackles.

    Likewise, the same bores will doubtless tell you of their many black friends who do not mind being called racial nicknames. Even if that is true – and it sounds like a strange form of friendship to me – one cannot treat strangers or vague acquaintances in the same way one treats one’s nearest and dearest.

    My wife, for example, would probably not object if I gave her bottom a friendly slap as she rummaged around the freezer. But I’m damned if I would try the same trick on a random shopper in Tesco’s chilled goods aisle.

    For what it is worth, I do not believe Suarez is a nasty, prejudiced racist. Nor do I believe he is a misunderstood foreigner. He was just being ignorant and thoughtless, as his defence makes clear.

    Suarez was not hired for his intelligence, but others at LFC were. They should have detected the flimsiness of Suarez’s mast before so publicly nailing their colours to it.

    If “Sorry, he’s from Uruguay” was their silver bullet, the target could only be their own foot.

    Read More

  92. Look... .it is so sad to defend the palyer..... he was wrong, he used racist expression with intent, he will pay, full stop.
    I can address a friend "fat boy" friendly even if he is acutally having problems with weight... because to joke about a discriminative factor is a sign of friendship and trust, but to use the same word in a contest of argument you are not defusing anything are you? He used negro while arguing... so the intent is to be offensive, full stop, not that in south america they didn't have slavery.... quite the opposite.
    You are all trying to defend the indefensible and makeing yourself ridiculous in the eyes of the nation.
    LFC is going really down.... no humble pie on our table.

  93. Now this has moved on a bit to if Liverpool should accept the decision or continue to be critical of it for bias theres one section that is a matter of fact that seems loaded and I've not yet seen this discussed.

    Section 82 of the report calls the 58th minute foul by Suarez on Evra as "deliberate" caused by "kicking Mr Evra on his right knee".

    Lets consider the second part first. There is video evidence of this tackle that is easily reviewed by anyone. The fact (and I know that word is being used incorrectly in many instances, but not here) is that Suarez does not kick Evra on the knee. The contact is knee to knee. This is a statement of fact and is not the wording used in the report.

    The first part is more subjective but was it a "deliberate" foul? Should we apply a balance of probability test to decide? Do professional footballers tend to intentionally risk their own safety (there is no assurances that the pain of knee to knee contact is going to be in your favour)? - I would suggest not. Did the ref feel the need to book or even speak to Suarez about this "deliberate" foul? - No he did not so we can probably say the ref did not deem it a deliberate foul. Nothing on the footage to me suggests it was deliberate or Suarez had an intent to give a foul away, and I would think the balance of probability would back this up.

    Some reading this now want to know what my point is. Well my real question is why is the wording "deliberate" and "kicking Mr Evra on his right knee" used at all? It is not a statement of fact yet it appears in the "Background Facts" section. Implicit in the description is that Suarez has intended to hurt Evra. It reads as if Evra is a victim of an attack. The portrayal as victim is quite key to part of the judgement later made. Implicitly in the report Suarez is seen to be the kind of person that would deliberately kick someone, how much of a stretch is it once that conclusion is made to him being capable of other deliberate indiscretions?

    The description also has implications for the version of events Evra and Suarez put forward. By using "deliberate...kicking Mr Evra on his right knee" in the Background Facts section you can then fast forward to Evra asking Suarez why he kicked him (lets remember Suarez has not actually kicked him as proven by the video). By the previous description this question is made out to be fair and gives Evra some entitlement to be "shocked" and angry about it 6 minutes later. It also makes Suarezs comment that it was a normal foul seem unreasonable, and possibly to the "independent" panel improbable. It does also stop Evras version of events looking inconsistent, despite the video evidence conclusively proving that he was not kicked on his right knee by Suarez.

    I am not ignoring the other failings of the report in this post, I just don't have the time to cover them all. This is just one point that seems extraordinary to me and I believe shows bias and potentially prejudgement of facts however I am happy to consider arguments as to why the words "deliberate" and "kicking Mr Evra on his right knee" are included.

  94. @Anonymous 4 January 2012 13:10: Suarez admitted saying "Negro" to Evra. As it was not proven that he had racist intentions he got only 8 matches ban. Otherwise, he would be banned for life in England and go to jail.

  95. Why 8 maches ban if he hadn´t racist intentions?
    It doesn´t fit.

  96. In response to Anonymous said...
    @Anonymous 4 January 2012 13:10: Suarez admitted saying "Negro" to Evra. As it was not proven that he had racist intentions he got only 8 matches ban. Otherwise, he would be banned for life in England and go to jail.

    If you read the FA rules that Suarez has broken then you would know that he is guilty of only breaking those rules and that any reference to Evras skin colour was an 'aggravating factor'. There is no concept of racial abuse within rules E4 (1+2). Suarez would need to be tried under criminal law to go to jail to be guilty of racial abuse. The FA are very cute in their wording of the rules broken and simply do not do enough to manage racism through the rules. It is a complete fudge. John Terry on the other hand has been charged with racist abuse as a criminal case and will have the full right of the court of law to clearly prove objectively whether this was the case or not. As said previously Suarez's case was subjective only so was given on a case of probability (which is ill founded given the review of the papers) and not on actual objective evidence ie proven evideance and fact.

  97. @Garyb77: The difference between Suarez and Terry is that there is much stronger evidence for Terry case and you will see what will happen. Suarez did not go to criminal court as there is no (enough) evidence. This is the reason why he got away with few matches ban. If there was hard evidence for what Evra said, Suarez would never play again in England and would probably be in jail.

  98. what nobody talks about in any place is the difference in the witnesses background. Suarez being a 24 year old, raised in a poor family in Uruguay, with not very good formal education, experience with all the "formal" protocol and living in England for about a year and not speaking english; while evra is 30 year old, diplomat son, raised in france, with good school grades, and fluent in five languages and living in England for five years. What was the panel expecting form their testimonies?? Evra was obviously more prepared and controlling the situation. He had no personal risks in the matter. Suarez was guilty until innocence proobed

  99. i think the FA should be charged for the whole case for xenophobic and classist

  100. Thanks for all the comments and retweets.

  101. Dear Joe,
    Thank you for your blog. I look forward to your take on possible relationship between LFC stance on Suarez case and acquired courage of same fans to be openly racist.

  102. RE Anonymous said...
    Dear Joe,
    Thank you for your blog. I look forward to your take on possible relationship between LFC stance on Suarez case and acquired courage of same fans to be openly racist.

    Here is my take: there isn't one.

  103. Dear Joe,
    Thank you for your short, but effective, response. The way how LFC handled "fan(s)" issue is fine. Act promptly, apologise to the victim and support institutions to do their job. The same thing was appropriate (with some variations of course) in "Suarez" case. I am glad that LFC came to their senses. Better late than never.

  104. Hi Joe,
    Firstly, your assertion that the video evidence of Suarez shrugging his shoulders supports Surarez’s testimony is irrelevant. You chose to omit the facts that Evra does not contradict this or that in paragraph 375 the report concludes “We think that the shrugging of the shoulders by Mr Suarez is consistent with both answers”.

    The coin toss was deemed insignificant by both parties. Suarez’s representative chose not to submit it, when asked “what factors we should take into account in assessing whether Mr Evra was likely to [be inventing the allegation]” (paragraph 326).

    BOTH sides accepted “that the phrase "ten times" was just a figure of speech in France” (paragraph 280). Your claim that Evra “retracted this claim” is a lie.
    The only doubt was from Suarez’s director of football at Liverpool, Damien Comolli. Whilst NOT disagreeing “ten times” is a figure of speech in France, he thought the situation was “important” so Evra needed to be “precise”. The “situation” put forward by Mr.Comolli was that Evra wanted to talk on TV and report his record (paragraph 155), but the journalist confirmed that was untrue, which Suarez‘s representative did not challenge (paragraph 279).

    You then produce an extremely misleadingly paragraph, that begins “What about previous form?” As you know, Evra never made any accusations of racism, nor were any made against him. Your defence of this in a comment was on the simple grounds this is not “incorrect”.
    I would argue to use “on the other hand” IS incorrect and grossly misleading. Inherent in those words is that you are following it with a statement suggesting Evra “has a history of racism”. Any reasonable person would view wording it as such, whilst omitted a critical truth, as dishonest. Furthermore, it is misleading to not make clear this was not one of the “four pieces of evidence presented by Suarez's lawyer”.

    Even so, the report in 2008 boils down to the fact Evra “barged” a man claiming he did so in concern for another man and concluding Evra “barged” a man but didn’t believe he did so in concern for another man.
    It is important to understand that ‘reliability’ should not be taken as a judgement of someone’s character or past but primarily of the content of the evidence they present in the case.
    “Mr Suarez's evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of CRITICAL IMPORTANCE. It was, in part, inconsistent with the contemporaneous evidence (paragraph 453(5)).
    If you had read the report you would be aware that paragraph 212 considers “the relevance of… the credit of the witness in relation to matters unconnected with the present … is contentious” And crucially, “that it has played no part in our consideration. This is because neither party suggested that it should. Mr McCormick [Suarez’s representative] did not submit that Mr Evra's evidence should be rejected because he had been shown to be unreliable in making accusations or giving evidence on any other occasion.”
    This is also relevant to counter a comment on your blog that suggested Ryan Giggs honesty in relation to sleeping with a women off Big Brother is relevant to the case.

    You end by saying, the FA have concluded that Suarez’s “entire evidence can be completely discredited whilst the inconsistencies in Evra’s testimony, and past, can be ignored.”
    The report DOES consider Evra’s consistency and it is UNTRUE that it discredit Suarez’s entire evidence. You actually give an example to contradict yourself when you state the report AGREES that Suarez’s account of shrugging his shoulders is true.
    You need to do better. Even more so considering your bias as a “LFC Obsessed Scouser”.

  105. It isn't all a landslide against Evra. Let's keep this subjective:

    "There is no dispute about who started the argument" - Is that what the panel ruled or are you speaking for yourself? If Evra was simply shouting in anger, he wasn't starting anything. If he did believe it was a way of saying "fucking hell", there is no insult.

    Shoulder shrugging - Suarez stated he shrugged his shoulders, but Evra did not state that Suarez did not shrug his shoulders, he just didn't mention it, something, to quote you, is "fully explained by the fact that the situation happened very quickly and the fallibility of memory". This isn't enough to say at this point that Suarez is the only one supported by the video evidence.

    Coin toss story - This seems a bit desperate and I wouldn't consider it strong enough to say anything. The referees are humans too, and us humans have at times sworn blind that something happened, only for it to turn out it never did. It is an odd story, you could say Evra must be lying, but, as is a recurring theme in this case, you could just as easily say 'why did he do this if he was guilty?' It is coincidential and incredibly odd for Evra to do that. You would think he makes a habit of it, so I can only assume Suarez's lawyer was unable to find any other incidents like this. If his lawyer did find more occurences, this would've been good evidence.

    "Ten times" - I can buy this as a figure of speech, just like how people say "everyone thinks XXXXX" or "this happened like a thousand times" or "I haven't seen you in, what, 50 years?". If you disagree, you can't simply build your argument against it with just "really?", that suggests you can't think of anything.

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